March 17 2013
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Kevin Streelman captured his first PGA TOUR victory at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank, shrugging off Boo Weekley’s early bolt with a steady 4-under-par 67 for a two-stroke triumph.
Streelman went bogey-free for the second consecutive day at Innisbrook Resort, finally pulling clear of Weekley’s target with a birdie at the Copperhead course’s par-3 13th hole. Another birdie at No. 17 provided the final margin.
“That was really cool,” said Streelman, a sixth-year PGA TOUR veteran who won in his 153d start. “I just stayed really patient and had a peace about me today. … It’s such a tough golf course where you’ve got to pick your battles.”
Streelman completed four days at 10-under 274. Weekley, playing some three hours ahead of the leaders, made his challenge with a 63 that kept him with a share of the lead for nearly two hours after leaving the course.
Weekley had just finished a warmup session on the range when Streelman knocked down his clinching birdie at No. 17.
“Even I’m still kind of shocked at how good I really hit it,” Weekley said. “It was one of the best ballstriking days I’ve had in a long time.”
Cameron Tringale also came from well off the pace to grab third, one shot behind Weekley after a 66. Justin Leonard (71), Greg Chalmers (70) and defending champion Luke Donald (69) were another stroke back.
Among those three shots back was 19-year-old Jordan Spieth, whose closing 70 was enough to earn PGA TOUR status as a special temporary member.
After a runner-up finish last week at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com, Spieth needed to finish 13th to earn the $101,295 needed to match No. 150 on last year’s money list. He cleared that with more than $47,000 to spare.
“I never would have guessed that I’d get it this quickly,” said the two-time U.S. Junior Amateur champion. “I feel great. I feel in control and I know what it’s like to be in contention in a TOUR event. I just want to come back and get a win now.”